By Lehana Tsotetsi
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 16 — The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), the women’s wing of South African ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, has called for the abolition of the “cultural” practice called “ukuthwala” and virginity testing.
The call is one of several recommendations tabled at its national policy conference here over the weekend. The league also wants women to play a stronger monitoring role during initiation processes.
The League is seen to be making this call at the height of the initiation season, a time when there is an on-going battle to prevent death and injury.
ANCWL president Angie Motshekga said here Monday that women must establish partnerships with traditional health practitioners and nurses to keep abreast of children’s progress in initiation schools.
At the same time, the League has also taken a strong position against the traditional custom of forced marriage. According to Motshekga, ukuthwala is a harmful cult practice that has to be abolished.
Maintaining the focus on gender-based violence, the League wants female police officers to be available at police stations 24 hours a day. The recommendations will go to branches for review ahead of the ANCWL elective conference next year.